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Wednesday - February 28, 2018 6:05 pm

4 members of La Crosse Human Rights Commission resign, leave meeting

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Four members of La Crosse's Human Rights Commission, along with some spectators, leave the commission's City Hall meeting Wednesday after resigning as a group. Four members of La Crosse's Human Rights Commission, along with some spectators, leave the commission's City Hall meeting Wednesday after resigning as a group. WIZM News photo

Four commission members cite lack of cooperation from mayor and city leaders

A majority of the La Crosse Human Rights Commission — four out of seven members — resigned as a group at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, and walked out of City Hall together. 

Chairman Shaundel Spivey, and fellow members Rose Reinert, Will Van Roosenbeek and Elizabeth Digby-Britten jointly read a statement at the start of the meeting, proclaiming that they were told they cannot act on "social justice and diversity situations." 

The commission recently received citizen complaints about discrimination and unfair housing practices within the La Crosse Housing Authority. 

The four panel members cited "a lack of communication with the mayor and his staff" and "a lack of trust in the system." 

In their resignation statement, they said that changes were made to the commission "without any communication or chance for input."

The departing members say they wanted to work on diversity and discrimination complaints, but suggested that city leaders mainly wanted them to "provide education and events." 

The commission recently sponsored a forum on public artworks in La Crosse, which led to renewed complaints about the Hiawatha Indian statue in Riverside Park. 

Mayor Tim Kabat, speaking Wed. afternoon on WIZM with Mitch Reynolds, said the city does not have the ability to impose sanctions on federally-run housing programs.

Kabat established the commission three years ago, and he plans to search for new members.

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday - March 1, 2018 2:25 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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